To oppose power is to set yourself on a collision course with despair.
You set out, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, charging full speed at the man all set to overthrow the status quo, and then what happens?
You splat headfirst into a solid steel wall.
Your plans fail.
Your heroes capitulate.
Your comrades begin succumbing to propaganda.
You realize that the roots of establishment power stretch far deeper than you’d initially guessed, and that it has strategies in place to ensure its survival that are far more ingenious and effective than you’d ever previously imagined.
And then there she is. Lady Despair, in all her ego-crushing glory.
And then what do you do?
Perhaps you avoid the despair by pretending things aren’t as bad as they seem; pretending that the corrupt establishment lackeys that are being presented to you as power-threatening rebels really are power-threatening rebels, pretending the fake decoy revolution they’re stagnating your movement with is a real one.
Perhaps you do as so many lifelong revolutionaries have done and refuse to give in to despair, keeping your feet planted and refusing to fall as its weight saps the fire from your eyes and makes you hard, jaded and bitter.
Perhaps you avoid the weight of despair by giving yourself a new narrative about how the fight is useless and resistance is futile, so you drop your revolutionary spirit altogether and become whatever we call hippies who become yuppies these days.
Or perhaps you really give in to hopelessness. Really, truly surrender to it. Honestly, directly, and unreservedly.
And perhaps you discover something you hadn’t noticed before. A part of the equation it had never occurred to you to account for.
And perhaps you learn that just as your naive hopefulness was the result of a misperception of reality, so too was your hopelessness.
And perhaps it turns out that just as the impulse to fight the power was an invitation to hopelessness, hopelessness is in turn an invitation to real power.
Because it might perhaps turn out that when you let go of all hope–really, truly let go of it–you expect to fall.